Prevent Hot Car Deaths
This year, more than 50 children have died of heatstroke because they were left or became trapped in a hot car. It’s important for everyone to understand that children are more vulnerable to heatstroke and that all hot car deaths are preventable. We — as parents, caregivers, and bystanders — play a role in helping to make sure another death doesn’t happen.
Know the Facts
- A child's body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult's. When a child is left in a hot vehicle, that child's temperature can rise quickly — and they could die within minutes.
- Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees.
- A core body temperature of about 107 degrees is lethal.
- In 2018, 53 children died of vehicular heatstroke — the most in more than 20 years — according to NoHeatstroke.org.
Everyone Can Help Prevent Hot Car Deaths
Parents and Caregivers
- Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended — even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running, and the air conditioning is on.
- Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle — front and back — before locking the door and walking away.
- Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected.
- Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, as another reminder to look before you lock.
- Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger's seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.
Everyone — Including Bystanders
- If you see a child alone in a locked car, get them out immediately and call 911. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.
- Always lock your car doors and trunk, year-round, so children can’t get into unattended vehicles.
- Store car keys out of a child's reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area.
Businesses and Community Groups
- Download and distribute NHTSA’s “Where’s Baby?” and “Look Before You Lock” material. These assets can be used to educate or remind parents and caregivers to always check the back seat of their car.
- Customize “Park. Look. Lock.” material, like posters and stickers, that you can place in key areas as a reminder to parents to make sure their child isn’t left behind. Your logo can be placed along with NHTSA’s logo as part of a brand partnership. Email NHTSAmedia@dot.gov if you are interested in more information about this partnership opportunity.
Printable Reminder Assets
Hangtag, Window Cling, Stickers & More | Want to Customize This Material? Email NHTSAmedia@dot.gov